In a contest that had large ramifications for both sides, McQueen constantly peppered the Raiders net-minder in the second half. McQueen erased a 1-0 first-half deficit to come back for a 3-1 victory Wednesday afternoon.
“You can’t take anything away from them,” Reed coach Joel Martinez said. “They made some big plays and took advantage of some of our mistakes. They kept up their pressure really well. It was a close game and we had a couple of shots in the first half that we should have capitalized on, but their keeper did a good job of stopping us.”
To open the game, Reed grabbed an early lead with a goal in the seventh minute on a goal by Anthony Chinchilla-Martinez. The Raiders would hold on to the lead through the rest of the first half, but it would be a different story after the break.
From the opening whistle of the second half, the Lancers applied constant pressure. After a huge block by Raiders goalkeeper Josh Reyes, in the 42nd minute, temporarily slowed the attack, McQueen finally broke through in the 44th minute. Just across midfield on a free kick, Lancer Rudy Aguilar sent a bomb from the left corner of the pitch that landed in the right corner of the net, beating the outstretched hand of a diving Reyes.
From there, McQueen stayed on the offensive, this time taking its first lead of the game.
In the 56th minute, the Lancers worked their way toward the Reed net as Keon Jones dribbled through the defense. As a handful of Raiders converged on the ball, Jones dropped the ball off to Austyn Herman, who sent a bullet along the ground and into the back of the net to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage.
Unsatisfied with the one-goal edge, McQueen extended its lead to 3-1 in the 71st minute as Aguilar tallied another marker, this time taking advantage of a penalty kick.
With two games remaining in the season, the loss dealt a blow to the Raiders’ playoff hopes.
“Now we’re depending on other teams,” Martinez said. “This game could have decided a postseason spot, but now we have to depend on how the other teams in our league are doing. Whether they win or lose is going to matter now.”
Reed (4-8-2) hosts North Valleys on Friday at 7 p.m.
Earlier in the season, the Cougars dropped a 1-0 contest to Hug. Visiting the Hawks on Tuesday, Spanish Springs looked to return the defeat, but fell a goal short yet again, losing 2-1.
"They were going at it out there," Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said. "Both teams wanted it. There was a lot of passion. Unfortunately we didn't mark up and they scored, and that's it.
"I still think we're the better team. I think we've made mistakes and they've capitalized. The last game they scored one, but we pounded them for 80 minutes. I think it was the same sort of thing. We have the better skill, but we have to pull it out."
Hug held a 1-0 lead at halftime after a 23rd minute goal on a cross, but the Cougs knotted the contest up to start the second half when Julio Soto put home a penalty kick. A corner quick for the Hawks ended the tie though as the ball sailed toward the goal and managed to find its way into the back of the net to retake the lead at 2-1.
The Cougars tried to mount a comeback, battering the Hug defense with a number of shots on goal, including a pair of close calls where rebound chances went just wide, but time ran out on the Purple and Silver effort.
Spanish Springs (9-3-2) hosts McQueen on Saturday at 11 a.m.
"We have to get back to the basics," Moreland said. "We have to start moving and passing and talking. We just have to stay with it. I think we've kind of lost it, but we have to find it again."